At this momentous occasion of the first public lecture being organised under the aegis of the GNLU- Navinchandra Desai Law Foundation Chair, Justice MR Shah graced the occasion here on the Gujarat National Law University campus today afternoon. The Director of the University, Dr. S. Shanthakumar along with the trustees of the Navinchandra Desai Law Foundation Trust, namely, Mr. Prashant Desai and Mr. Pranav Desai were also present.
At the orientation hall of the campus, the event started by 3:15 P.M. The audience included District and Sessions Judge, Gandhinagar, Members of the Gandhinagar Bar, Senior Advocates, and President of the Bar, faculty members, students and media persons. With the ceremonial lighting of lamps, the event took off.
Dr. Shanthakumar delivered the Welcome address, giving a hearty welcome to the Chief Guest and the dignitaries. Amidst the thunderous applause, he acknowledged the huge honour and privilege of welcoming the august gathering to the occasion. Sincere thanks for the constant support were also being expressed towards the Government of Gujarat and the District and Sessions Court, Gandhinagar.
Smiles on the faces widened when the GNLU alumni, who had made their alma mater proud, were being given a due mention. The Director confessed to onerous responsibility of the University towards the Chair established in terms of fulfilling the objectives of the trust by organising capacity building sessions along with workshops for the young advocates so that they can hone their abilities. The vision for widening the outreach towards the Rural and the Local bar was expressed and he ended on a thank you note.
At this juncture, the GNLU Journal for Law, Development and Politics was also been released by Justice MR Shah. The Bi- annual and peer reviewed journal critiques the legal system and provides solutions through the interface of current legal problems in the paradigm of law and development along with politics. The dignitaries, along with Dr. Shanthakumar as Patron and Dr. William Nunes, the Director of the journal came on the stage to release the journal.
This was followed by a brief felicitation of the guests by the Director through a memento as a token of love and regard. A bouquet of flowers and the model of Statue of Unity were being presented to the Justice MR Shah along with Mr. Prashant Desai along with Mr. Pranav Desai.
Following the round of applause, the dignitaries came off the dais to felicitate the proud alumni who were to be entering the judicial field at a young age. The former students of GNLU were now going to be a part of varied judicial services across the country like Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Delhi. The Chief Guest whole heartedly embraced the young judges and congratulated them personally for their glorious success.
As the faculty members could be seen with a proud smile and nostalgic eyes, few of the felicitated alumni expressed their feelings and emotions. Mr. Nikhil Prasad, a differently- abled and energetic alumnus, from 2008 to 2013 batch, who was going to enter the Maharashtra services, prayedfor living up to the distinguished legacy of the institution of justice and he also credited a positive outlook in life as a mantra to surpass the challenges in life.
Mr. Anurag Verma, 2009- 2014 batch felt honoured and pressed for a “never- dying” attitude and perseverance as the key helpers in his long journey. Mr. Kapil Gupta, 2011- 2016 batch termed himself to be privileged for his hard journey. He credited the blessings from his parents, teachers and the light of guidance and leadership he got from the University that he could achieve the success.
Following this inspirational trail of grit and determination, Mr. Prashant Desai, Senior Advocate, Gujarat High Court came up to the dais and remembered his grandfather Sh. Navinchandra Deasi, his grandfather. He put forth the aim and objectives of the trust, that is for inviting legal luminaries for the public lecture series, who should be a native to the Gujarat and inspire the young generation with their remarkable words. The aim was also to organise workshops of drafting, conveyance to serve the learning needs of the young advocates.
He threw light on the immense struggle and the 24*7 work load that is involved in the legal profession. He quoted his father, Giriraj Desai, a famous advocate to say that, “When you close the brief, open your mind”. Addressing the young audience of law students, he told about the court craft, need for marshalling facts, knowing evidence, giving notice, paying attention to drafting etc. No success comes overnight was his message and he urged the students to join the profession and achieve progress.
After Mr. Desaqi expressed his happiness on how the “new blood would soon enrich the legal profession”, his brother Mr. Pranav Desai, Advocate, Gujarat High Court addressed the gathering. He amazed the audience with the facts about his grandfather, how he had memorised the entire Code of Civil Procedure and what a man of character he was. Reiterating the goals of the trust and wishing success for the young judges, Mr. Desai ended on a thank you note.
Now came the turn for the cynosure of the event. Justice Shah began his address with expressing gratitude towards the University and the trust for calling him. “As life is not bereft of challenges” expressed Justice Shah,“so is the Judiciary.” Invoking the high character of Mr. Navinchandra Desai, he saluted the efforts of the young judges, how they overcame their challenges and became successful.
Coming to the challenges faced by the Judiciary today, he repented on the frustration that is increasing the society today due to the delays in enforcement of rights. He warned that rule of law was the victim which was evidenced by the Hyderabad encounters. Specifically pointing the challenges, Justice Shah listed lack of faith by public, delays, pendency of cases, corruption, vacancies, infrastructural deficiencies, uneasy working conditions trial by media and imbalance between haves and have-nots.
According to him a coordinated action by all the stakeholders of justice, including lawyers, judges, police, forensics, could find balance between “Justice Delayed Justice Denied” and “Justice Hurried Justice Buried”. The fact of 0.2% of GDP allotment to Judiciary and 11 to 1 million ratio of judges, Justice Shah expressed how the judiciary was under a stress.
At the end, he congratulated the young judges and also how he was jealous for their early success. He reminded them of their onerous responsibility of being impartial, managerial and patient. To deal directly with the litigants, they had to be courteous and thankful to God. For the law students, he urged them to join litigation and not be a part of the monotonous life cycle of corporate.
The event ended with a vote of thanks by Dr. Jagadeesh Chandra, Registrar of the University. Dignitaries along with audience proceeded for the group photograph and later for the high tea.